Happiness is A Good Friend’s Good News

Krissie finished her book. It’s been as much as a PITA for her as Nita has been for me, so I get vicarious relief, plus a friend who deserves all the happiness she can get. Secondhand happiness is a great thing.

What made you happy this week?

65 thoughts on “Happiness is A Good Friend’s Good News

  1. I am experiencing vicarious happiness for you, Jenny, and all of us who love your books. Bob is helping with Liz! I love her character, the concept of that book/s, and the excerpts you shared.
    I have confidence in Mr Mayer’s methods as he is/has helped me through his Novel Writer’s Toolkit book.
    As for my own happiness, my j.o.b. offered me overnights. Hours forced to sit at my computer with lots of deadtime for writing.
    Stars aligned and discovery writing put a novel in my brain in a style and structure that I have not tried before. I am loving it!
    I am also eagerly anticipating a visit from my brother and his husband. They are 2 of my favorite people and I rarely get to spend time with them.
    Also Bridgerton. And newfound for me, Murder In Provence. Happy!

    1. Murder in Provence is absolutely stellar. I was crushed to discover there were only three episodes. (Albeit they are all an hour and a half long.)

      1. And I just finished the third and final Murder In Provence. Sad. I would have enjoyed a lot more episodes!

  2. Ya, Krissie! And yah good news of any kind. I will happily live vicariously through the good news of others at this point.

    My happiness this week was having a somewhat reduced Blue Moon Circle over yesterday for a belated spring equinox ritual and feast. We made seed balls for potential, and enjoyed each other’s company for the first time since the fall equinox (our Yule dinner party and Imbolc got cancelled due to Covid surges). Then my goddess-daughter Sophie, who somehow is now 15 (seriously, she was three a couple of days ago) stayed overnight for some “Aunt Debbie” time and we talked for hours. Such a smart and wonderful kid, and dealing with some issues, so I was glad to be able to be an extra support both for her and her parents.

  3. Happiness is singing and music. My choir is performing Rutter’s Requiem this evening. Being in the middle of the choir, surrounded by all of the music, is one of my very happiest places.

  4. My kid got covid, he got away lightly (yay vaccines), and after a week of isolating as household contacts none of the rest of us have it. Astonishing. Hooray!

    Also VERY EXCITED, we might be mad (war, covid, the eye watering expense) but we’ve just booked six weeks in UK/Europe Dec-Jan. It will be cold, but Europe!! With the kids! I’m fizzing. Family, and showing them places that are important to us, that we loved, nothing but good times. 🤞

    Now planning, it’s not long enough to do All The Things, but 6 weeks is our longest school holiday – 4 terms, 2 weeks holiday between each term, and six weeks over summer.

    1. If you happen to include Southern Germany in your planning, give me a call if you’d like a tour around Munich 😀.
      Otoh there are sooo many beautiful places to visit in Europe (including UK)!

      1. That is so kind! We probably won’t be in Munich this time – closest will be Switzerland (where we lived for a while pre kids) but thank you for the offer!

    2. I wish I could travel for six weeks in Europe, Dec-Jan is great, Christmas markets, decorative light displays, seasonal food, snowy vistas. Just remember to bring the anoraks, it gets rainy

      1. Yes that’s the upside for sure. Also, I’m now in the market for a pair of wear with everything, go everywhere (Swiss snow to Paris galleries), waterproof boots in a size 35. Anyone in the northern hemisphere (winter sales!) want to comment with their favourite brand/online shoe shop? Cotswold Country has some perfect boots, but only down to a 36. Waaa.

  5. My little spark of joy this week is an email from the director of the recording studio at the CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) with the glorious news that we volunteer narrators will soon be back on the job. After 20 years of recording books for the visually impaired, and two years of NOT doing so, I am bookishly excited.

  6. Good timing for today’s happiness topic, because I was already planning to make an Argh friend happy today. Does anyone (U.S. only because of shipping costs) want a double-autographed (both Bob & Jenny, but it does have the original recipient’s name in it too) hardcover copy of DON’T LOOK DOWN? A friend wants to rehome her copy and knew I hung out here and someone here might want it.

    Neither of us wants money for it, but would appreciate a donation to charity (recipient’s choice of amount), and it seemed appropriate it should go to a fellow Argher’s (Deb’s) preferred pet charity: https://superheroesirj.org/ Book is in like-new condition, and has lived in a non-smoker’s house. If you’re interested, send an email to Gin at ginjones dot com, and if more than one person responds by midnight on Monday Eastern time, March 28, I’ll pick one at random. It won’t be an immediate happy, since it may take a week or two until I get the book from my friend, and then I’ll be sending it Media Mail.

    In more selfish happies, it seems I’ve gotten my quilting mojo back after having lost it for all of last year, possibly longer, and that makes me happy. I’m finishing old (small) projects left and right. And I’m about to start the great quilted coat experiment — making a sample for fitting purposes, using mismatched and otherwise defective scraps of fabric and batting. It will likely be hideous and lumpy, but I’ll be documenting it on Instagram anyway.

  7. I am in Washington DC to participate in a 5 day meeting of the non-profit’s editing committee. Wonderful people, fascinating subjects, so all good. And I get to spend extra time with my sister, so even better.

    Read a couple of good things lately.

    My hostess tells me there is a fabulous bakery nearby that we will walk to at lunch, so nothing but good times ahead.

    1. Not such a great week weather-wise, but unless they all blew away last night, you should get some good cherry blossom sightings. And honestly, cherry blossom snow is almost as nice as the cherry blossoms on the trees!

  8. It has finally felt like spring. We had a late freeze that wiped out this year’s bluberry crop. But I cleaned out the raised beds and tidied the herb beds.
    I worked on a quilt and its recipient was born this week expanding the family into the next generation.
    And we finally named the cat: Charles Boris Augustus the Third. Though my Mom calls him Brutus.

    1. You’ve got me worried: I told my blueberries this evening that they should slow down – they’re covered in buds about to open, but after a heatwave we’re forecast a couple of nights below freezing later this week.

  9. I’m finally, after six months, crocheting my Bavarian blanket again, thanks to podcasts and audio books from the library. It’s helping me to deal with my depression.

    My favourite podcast right now is Biohacked: Family Secrets. It starts with the story of a young woman called Amber who was given a DNA test kit by her husband. She is excited. She gets the results and is confused, but her parents dismiss her concerns. She thinks no more about it. Until one year later, she gets an email from a woman called Katlin who says she is Amber’s half sister on her paternal side, and asks Amber if she is an IVF baby too. Amber replies no. She thinks her dad must have had an affair, so calls him. She records the conversation. Her parents breakdown and tell her she is an IVF baby. For medical reasons, they had to turn to IVF but thought the procedures had failed and that Amber was conceived naturally, until Amber told them about the DNA results.

    Turns out, her biological father was a medical student who donated a lot of sperm to the IVF bank. He did this to help pay university bills. They track him down. At first he doesn’t want to know. When he donated, DNA profiling wasn’t a thing. He believed his donation would help couples struggling to have children, but he would remain anonymous. He is a doctor now and does not have any children because he never wanted them. Amber and Katlin want to know their medical history and finally he agrees to meet them. Eight more people have contacted Amber to say they are related to her since Katlin contacted her. Her biological father thinks he might have about 75 children if all the IVF treatments worked. Amber says she is struggling with the fact that she might have that number of siblings. She is not angry with her parents or her biological father, but the people who made the money from this treatment without thinking about long-term consequences. If you like podcasts I would really recommend this one.

  10. Not one thing made my happy, more happy, happy dance just a week of things done culminating in a happy satisfied with accomplishments type of contentment. And, I started writing again. Blocked out Friday morning (2 hours) online writing with fellow writers. Committed to it. Of course, DH called three times…but, I had turned off my phone. Shaking my head bc we had a conversation about not disturbing me. Really anyone could have called. Yeah me. It was deeply satisfying.

  11. Thus made me content this weekend (the week before was to busy for any form of happiness): sleeping in, sunshine, dd not in a distant mood, ds cuddly, binging Bridgerton, finding the tine to go cycling with dh. After a 4,5 hrs tour (with a leisurely stay at a biergarten), getting some sun/vitamin D, my bottom feels like well kneeded dough. But I’m tired and content.

  12. My happies are all gardening happies, but no dieting happies. I harvested and ate all my bok choy. I harvested and ate all the salad greens that were ready. I harvested and ate all the green onions that were chopped up to just roots and an inch of stalk and grew back. Now I have three new pak choi plants and new lettuce plants. Another of my tomato plants has started flowering. Tomatoes in 2022 are conceivable (provided my bee vibrator properly pollinated them.)

    The diet is once again heading in the wrong direction, not that it’s official until Thursday. But compared to last Thursday, it’s five whole pounds of wrong direction. Five. And that’s eight pounds above what I weighed January 1. Still, my PCP and Cardiologist are happy, so there’s that. *heavy sigh*

      1. With apologies to Herself, I can’t use it without smirking.
        AeroGarden Be The Bee Pollinator

        With an indoor garden, you need to Be the Bee!

        Tomatoes, Peppers, Strawberries and other flowering fruits and vegetables all need pollinating for best yields and fruit size. In our tests, pollinating with Be the Bee pollinator increased yields of our Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes by 300%.

        Specially designed pollinating tool with bristles vibrates and distributes pollen from flower to flower. Simply touch the pollinator to each flower for an extra heavy fruit set!

        Requires 2 AA batteries. Batteries not included.

        1. This is very cool! Most of the native bees I know about in my area build underground nests, often in unused mouse tunnels. I’ll ask around about whether a bee brick would attract any of my locals.

          1. Turns out, the bee bricks should work with all sorts of insects. A friend (high up in the Native Plant Trust here in New England) says that it’s good to collect those hollow stalks in late fall that you find in fields. Mount them in similar fashion to the bee bricks. Native bees and insects will enjoy finding these new homes in the spring.

  13. Today’s the last day of Urinetown. I’ve enjoyed this one. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m going to miss our crazy set that I helped design and got credited for. We had (another) cast party last night and it was a lot of fun, one guy put on a trivia party.

    I had a three day weekend (we get Cesar Chavez Day off here), which I really needed because work was so awful. I got to relax and chill a bit and then do theater. I saw Beauty and the Beast as well. My crafting projects are also going well. I’m really enjoying my spiral galaxy temperature cross stitch (look for it on Etsy) and my Encanto costume knitting is progressing.

    The crush (I know, I know…) came to the show last night and actually enjoyed it, unlike my mom, and I did talk to him for a bit afterwards. It was definitely weird having him watch me instead of the other way around–usually he’s in shows that I’m not in. He declared it “fun” and you could hear him cracking up at several points.


    I also watched all of Bridgerton season 2, which was addictive. The sexual chemistry is through the roof (even if Anthony is frequently kinda jerky), I want Kate’s entire wardrobe, and the plotlines were good. I will note that watching that show–particularly the bit at the beginning of episode seven when Kate’s shooing off the dog and then obviously the hormones are going off and someone is all “Why did I not notice this before, was I blind?!”–made me think of me and the crush. Like even if he said no, uh…we *have* this dynamic going on. The too-long hugs going on this week, him blowing me kisses onstage in the last show when he certainly didn’t have to, the vibe when we’re close to each other, etc. I’m not *totally out of my mind* to think it’s more than just platonic to him, regardless of what he said about dating. Maybe he’s in denial/clueless/conflicted, I dunno. And yes, I agree I should find someone else, but that isn’t happening so far and I still really like and care about this one anyway. Crumbs are still better than air.

    I read One Last Stop recently and there’s a situation where someone’s pining for someone who is interested but Having Issues and won’t go there all the way:

    “Does it ever, like…I don’t know. Make you lonely? To love somebody who can’t meet you there?”
    “Sometimes. But, you know, that feeling?” When you wake up in the morning and you have somebody to think about? Somewhere for hope to go? It’s good. Even when it’s bad, it’s good.”

    That’s where I am about it at this point. Trying to end caring about him categorically didn’t work and he was back in my life a week later. I want more, it may never be more, I’m dealing with things as they are until such time as something changes and/or I meet someone else who is all in. I did pay a psychic (again, I know, I know…) last year about the topic and she said I’d meet someone else within a year and that year is very nearly up. I can’t say I’d be shocked to have that person never show up and never exist, as that is how my life goes. I feel like I’m just never meant to have a relationship last, unfortunately, but this is better than absolute nothing, to know someone cares about me at least somewhat.

    It’s just getting him to go from here to there, if it’s possible…I have no idea how to do that. I’d rather not fall off a horse and end up in a coma for a week like on the show to get the clue bat to drop on his head about the topic, you know? 😛 Or how to engineer forced proximity/trapped in a cabin alone for a week IRL either, hah hah. It *feels* kinda like a budding romance novel, except reality sucks for that sort of thing.

    Anyway: if anyone was ever in a similar situation where they were friends with someone for years and then something changed, would be happy to hear stories about it.

    1. There was a group of 4 of us in college who did everything together and had a lot of fun: 3 guys and me. At one point one of the guys who was my particular friend asked me out and I said no. I liked the status quo. He said okay. Decades later it has occurred to me that it probably wasn’t okay. But it never occurred to me at that time that he might have seriously been interested because I was not.

      And I was never going to be interested so everything in my opinion was settled and we could just continue being friends. We all had different majors and lived in different parts of the city and after another year got caught up in working on our degrees and drifted apart. And the next year I met my husband. Occasionally I would think of our group and how fun it was and hoped life was going well for them.

      1. Agree. If I’m not that into a person, I categorise them into a metaphorical box and that’s it. The only thing that changes is if they persistently try to change the situation and become creepy/annoying. Personally I try to cut off contact with anyone that can’t accept reality – it’s easier for me and kinder on them in the long run. The week-long coma only works in Bridgerton because they’re already both in love and it’s fictional. In real life I’d be thinking “too much drama, this is where I make my exit…”

    2. I saw a tarot card reader once who told me my true love was in Tahoe. I said, “I’m not going to Tahoe.” She said, “Then you’ll never meet him.” And that was true.

      The only thing I know of that shifts people SOMETIMES is jealousy. Go out with somebody else. Have a great time. Don’t be so available. Break the long hugs early. Friendzone him. I did that inadvertently once, and the jealousy brought him back, much to my surprise. We got married. Then we got divorced. Sometimes it’s a good thing to walk away.

      1. If I ever find someone else to date that isn’t in his 70’s (that’s all that likes me), I will definitely consider it.

    3. Unfortunately, I agree with the group. Even if you were locked in together for the entire pandemic I don’t think that you would end up with the change that you want. Feelings don’t work that way.

      Although it might be enough to cure you. I haven’t met this person, but from your description, I don’t care for him much. Everyone deserves a partner who pulls weight, both practical and emotional and this person seems to shift it all to you.

      I don’t know how I feel about psychics, but I do believe in manifesting what you want. If you are not ready to move forward, that is fine, but as long as you see him as your only choice, he will probably be your only choice.

  14. Planting my new winter plants – a pink, scented Daphne bholua and a rose-pink camellia – has made me happy. Sun all week; sitting in the garden; making paths at the allotment – and chatting to my neighbours there. Plus staring out the train window all the way to Halifax on Friday. There were loads of willows in flower – lemon yellow fluffs all over.

  15. Lovely weather made me happy. I’ve been out in the garden a bit – me v the ivy in the front garden (which needs *ahem* quite a lot of attention). The ivy has a head start, but I’m making noticeable progress.

    And Friday afternoon I was joined by DH and DS, who combined forces to tackle the weeds in between the paving on the driveway (DH scraped, and it turns out DS is a dab hand with a dust pan and brush. And is still at the ‘helpful’ stage – long may that continue!). They went back to it several times over the weekend, and as of this afternoon our driveway looks respectable for the first time in about 3 years.

    As Jane said, it is due to cool down rather over the next few days, but I’m hopeful that I’ll get out and do some more before the following week, when it is predicted to revert to cooler, wetter weather for a spell.

    But a bit of sun is very promising!!

  16. Yes that’s the upside for sure. Also, I’m now in the market for a pair of wear with everything, go everywhere (Swiss snow to Paris galleries), waterproof boots in a size 35. Anyone in the northern hemisphere (winter sales!) want to comment with their favourite brand/online shoe shop? Cotswold Country has some perfect boots, but only down to a 36. Waaa.

    1. I’d always want to try them on, Alannah – the geometry of feet being so individual. I often buy Clarks’ shoes and boots, but they didn’t have anything that struck me this winter. (I’m very picky though: it’s my secret to saving money.)

  17. My greatest happiness this week is also driven by good news from friends. The friend who has been treated for brain cancer sent out a progress report saying that he feels the best he has in years. Evidently some people from the town where we both grew up assumed that because they hadn’t heard from him he had died. Oy! But I shouldn’t complain because their lack of faith meant that the rest of us got an extra dose of good news. The people at the hospital where he got treatment kept warning him not to expect his day to day life to be what it was before, but they didn’t tell him how much better it would be. It was so inspiring to read his lack of news and that he is enjoying his life at home.

    And the sunshine is lovely even if it is still cold outside.

  18. Had a musical and social weekend, went to the cinema with the seats that act like easy chairs and watched 5 glorious hours Verdi’s Don Carlos, the French version. One of my favorite of operas for ever. And with my feet elevated, so I could walk afterwards.
    Then today went a friend’s piano/cello recital, almost everything was written in the last 40 years, a premier of a cello solo piece, and a very satisfying program. Such a contrasting couple of days of music.
    A quick red fox ran across the churchyard this morning before service, and a cardinal perched on a branch outside my window. And, a major sign of Spring in Maine, the PEEPERS were peeping tonight!
    FYI for some, those are tiny pre-frogs in the wetlands. They sound like crickets and aliens .

    1. Peepers is the best of names. Though “The Peepers” would also make a strong horror film title 😉

  19. Good news from my cousing who turned 90 1/2. She’s finally getting rid of her car. She can still drive ok but obviously hasn’t felt confident on the road for some time now. Better to do it before something happens.

    Otherwise, no news is good news.

  20. DS came over for dinner, and afterward he and DH joined me in a crazy art project: putting foil on an electric griddle and drawing with crayon, then capturing the melted crayon print with paper. Also, putting the paper on the foil and then slowly drawing as the crayon melts. (Google “draw crayon griddle.”) We all enjoyed the process, and no one got burned.

    1. I remember doing that as a kid and LOVING it. We made so many pages my mother used them for homemade cards for years. We didn’t really care about what would happen to the “prints” when we were done, we were just enthralled with the process. I bet it was super fun as an adult who was making intentional art.

  21. My David Austin rose arrived and I got it in the ground. My daffodils and giant snowdrops are starting to bloom and the tulips should bloom soon.

    My daughter seems to be recovering nicely from COVID .

    DH has been on work travel for 2.5 weeks and returns in 10 days. It’s been nice having some time to myself, eating meals he won’t eat, and catching up on the backlogged magazines during meals.

    DS and I spent last week texting back and forth about the figure skating worlds.

  22. I had a lovely long lunch and afternoon drinks with a group of friends yesterday, and have now booked everything for an actual night away next weekend! The steroids for the cough that wouldn’t die seem to be doing their job, and the cat doesn’t have kidney disease. These are all good solid happies, and I need to keep them front of mind because today at work was awful. I messed up really badly and had to get drug tested. A definite low point for the year so far.

  23. Out of a good many moments in Judge Brown Jackson’s hearing this week, I loved her time with Mazie Hirono, who finally asked what creative things the judge did. Answer . . . she knits, and has a basement full of her knitting wool stash, if anyone wants to come over!


    Also a pleasure, TIME TEAM has returned, with the first three episodes posted to YouTube on a Bronze Age site in Cornwall. I especially enjoyed one of the old-timers from the earlier iteration of the show looking at a gadget displaying the metal content of a find and saying, “I want one!” The last word in non-destructive testing.

    Pleased that the Ukrainians are doing better than anyone could have expected, and greatly admiring the way President Biden has supported, but not demanded the publicity, of the effort. We used to say that President Obama played multi-dimensional chess; I like to see the tradition continuing!

  24. Happiness is getting my house in shape for my visitors. It’s now at the point where I can do some of the deeper organizing when they are gone. It has been quite a project. Really no idea why I couldn’t be bothered to do it during quarantine. I mean, I deserve a decent place to live as much as my visitors do!

    My other happiness is my visitors, who will arrive this afternoon and be here for the week. Unfortunately it’s a busy week for me at work, so I can’t hang out as much as I like, but we’ll have the evenings.

  25. The week did not start with much happy as I wretched my back and woke up several nights in a row in pain. Thanks to
    my wonderful massage therapist and painkillers, I felt well enough on Friday to participate in a 3 day virtual cardmaking workshop (booked 6 months ago). Had lots of fun learning new techniques and using my big box of supplies. Watched Bridgerton at the end of each day. A friend and I decided to bite the bullet and travel to Costa Rica in late April. Listened to a close friend express her frustrations about her boss and she told me my comments/observations were helpful.

  26. I can’t believe I actually booked my flight to go to Spain at the end of October. A friend is hiking the Camino de Santiago and asked me if I would like to join 2 other friends who are joining her at Siarra, about 100 kilometers from the end of the trail. I had thought in the past about hiking the full length of it but only vaguely, now I am actually going to do a section of it!

    1. My cousin hiked the Camino de Santiago several years ago. I believe she is going to do it again. I might do part too. Good luck. How exciting.

  27. Ton o’ work done in the garden this weekend being followed by hours of genuine RAIN today makes me happy. Although I did feel obliged to go out in the rain after signing off work to move a carved wooden trunk (nabbed from Curb Mart) under cover. It’s going to be a planter box eventually, but might as well stay dry-ish till then.

    Also happy because today’s absolute-deadline filing did not get borked by patent office disarray (e-filing system was down in the morning) and I didn’t even have to stay late.

  28. Unhappy is the microwave dead at dinner time. A lot of my “fresh” vegetables come in bags that you stab with a fork and then toss in the microwave. My tea, my drip coffee, and my instant coffee all start with “Microwave 12 ounces of good drinking water for 3 minutes.”

    The vegetables I tried to heat in the toaster oven. I ate 3/4 of them, but you can eat broccoli and carrots raw. Green beans need a little cooking, and I tossed the last two ounces.

    I still own two small coffee makers, so I pulled one out and plugged it in. I have many filters, too. I ground 20 grams of Blanchard’s decaf beans, filled the filter, and ran 12 ounces of bottled water through. Doctored it up and lo, there be coffee here. Not bad.

    I poked at the radar range for twenty minutes before I gave up, unplugged it, and carried it out to the cans. I saved the glass turntable and the thing it rides on. I have two, now.

    If it hadn’t been dinner time, I’d have chucked the green beans and carrots in a crockpot with some vegetable broth and/or V8, and let them cook for ten or twenty hours. I vaguely remember that broccoli is not crockpot-friendly, but that might be just the florets. The stems were probably okay.

    Walmart is open in the morning. That’s where the last two MWs came from, and they fit my cabinet very well. Maybe I’ll get a black one to match the toaster oven. Or maybe a maroon one to match nothing else I own. *heavy sigh*

  29. A play. Outside. Together. It’ll probably rain but I don’t care, it will still be good to go out together. It’s even a play I know I like. I don’t remember which, even though he told me last week. I look forward to it anyway.

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